Politics: Nightmares From Below

Editor’s Note: Here’s a honorable mention to another one of our submissions for ‘Politics’, where Rhea waxes poetic on the aftermath of political decisions.


Nightmares From Below

 

Our whole continent was in a hot dense state

and nearly 400 years of slavery couldn’t wait

The British began to drool

and imperialism was cool

because Africa needed “school”

 

Schoooool you said?

 

They took our fathers to cotton fields

and to fight the wars that needed no shields

They had a head start and free labour

and got this from dividing us from our neighbour

With all our rubber, steel and diamonds they went

only to start off an era of resent

 

Then came WW1, 2 and a sense of liberation

but it was all an act of deliberation

of a new form of modern colonization

 

The cold war that followed brought us a wall and atomic bomb

as well as a series of western norms

It also brought us India and Pakistan

Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan

 

We were promised world peace by the United Nations

but all they did was test our patience,

as our oil fueled their petrol stations

 

The IMF handed out loans, ah what a fallacy

to continue to feed us their development fantasy

They encouraged the export of raw materials

minerals, metals, breads and cereals

They gave us pennies in return,

what debt was, we had to learn

 

Around the world, no Robin Hood was seen

and money only mattered if it was green

They devalued our currency

education and health care were no longer an urgency

They forced a reduction in social and govt spending

now the consequences are never ending

 

The rich became Warner Bros

yet the rest of us couldn’t even afford to watch their shows

The gap between the rich and the poor has grown

along with the West, the 1% exploited their own

 

9/11 enough said,

but was the Quran even read?

Al qaeda, Taliban and Isis

Say hello to the new global security crisis

 

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

was not an invitation to enter our fights

In the midst of creating the perfect society

we forgot to make refugees our priority

 

“Africa is a land of savages” and “All Muslims are terrorists” they say

how ignorant is your education system anyway?

Foreign aid always came with strings attached

and the donor intentions never matched

 

And now,

 

Real wages have dropped massively

yet we continue to complain passively

companies from afar are now incharge

and locals lose their jobs at large

 

Health care has become a luxury

only the rich can afford surgery

more children and mothers are dying

why can’t anyone hear our crying?

 

Our resources are depleting

yet our chimneys are still competing

we try meeting after meeting

but will we even have something to keep eating

 

It is time to put a step to this

the constant meddling we won’t miss

Africa doesn’t need to be saved

definitely not with their fooling aid

Our problems we will fix on our own

no more of their god damn loan

 

Hey but hoooooow?

 

A united civil society we will create

one without tribal or cultural hate

education, health care and peace is the way

let’s remember that everyday

 

Text by Rhea Hirani

Illustration by Leong Pui-San

 

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